The number of active large taxpayers’ files registered with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) is less than 800 while the total number of taxpayers’ files is less than 350,000, Sri Lanka Mirror learns.
Accordingly, out of nearly 23 million people in the country, an income taxpayer has to support about 60 people who do not pay income tax.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the trade unions of the IRD are preparing to request the government to increase the number of taxpayers in order to bring down the current high income tax rate.
Their opinion is that the tax burden imposed on the people can be reduced when the number of taxpayers increases.
It is also said that the target of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is to collect taxes correctly from large taxpayers, and to bring medium-sized taxpayers on the right path and turn them into large taxpayers.
According to the financial policy arrangements of the Finance Ministry, it has been proposed to register taxpayers without further delay and increase the number of taxpayers. However, it was reported that the current IRD Commissioner General has no proper understanding of the situation and therefore, the programme has been abandoned.
The trade unions accused the commissioner general of neglecting these matters and focusing on his retirement in August instead.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Mirror learnt that a group of accomplices of the Commissioner are attempting to open up about a million tax files.
It was also reported that the recruitments made to the newly established Revenue Management Department have also been made without any transparency.
Four people from the Inland Revenue Department have been appointed to this new division and six more are to be recruited.
However, these recruitments have been made at the discretion of the Finance Ministry without any interview or evaluation.
Meanwhile, it was also reported that many people in the field have criticized these appointments questioning the credibility of the appointees.
Sri Lanka Mirror learnt from a very reliable source that there are large taxpayers and retired people hiding behind these appointees.